If your loved one is suffering from a serious illness, you may have heard about palliative care or hospice. Many people understand these two terms the same, but they differ in some important ways. However, both are related to providing care and comfort to the patient. The care is related to physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional. If you are looking for these services, it is essential to understand the difference between the two.
Difference between Hospice and Palliative Care
Both palliative and hospice care provides comfort to the patient. However, palliative care starts at the time of the diagnosis and goes continuously during treatment. On the other hand, hospice care starts when the treatment stops, and doctors have declared that they cannot save the life of the patient. Here the patient can survive for six months or less, which is when hospice care becomes an option.
Palliative care aims to ease pain and help the patient to deal with other problems if their condition is serious, but is not life-threatening at that time. Palliative care goes along with the treatment provided by the specialist. The care aims to help the patient and their family to deal with things like nerve pain, nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath.
If the illness process seems harder and is affecting the mental status of the patient, palliative care can address that problem too. Physical symptoms like trouble sleeping, pain, shortness of breath, and loss of appetite are taken care of under palliative care. It also includes medicine, nutritional guidance, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and integrative therapies.
Hospice care is usually provided at home to the patient who can live six months or less. There are four levels of treatment. The level is routine home care that includes medical social services, speech-language services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and durable medical equipment. The level two is continuous home care that is available at the time of a crisis. The service is provided 24 hours a day to the patient suffering from persistent pain, severe shortness of breath, and severe nausea.
The level three is general inpatient care, which is provided to the patient who faces severe short-term symptoms and cannot get adequate treatment at home. The level four is respite care that is served to the patient’s family more than the patient.